Lummi Island Wine Tasting March 16 ’13 St. Patrick’s Weekend

Annual Nod to St. Pattie

“The first known St. Patrick’s Day celebration was held in 1762, when Irish soldiers enrolled in the British army marched down Broadway in a display of ethnic pride. Some stayed when their enlistments expired, and New York, then as now, became a center of Irish immigration to America. In later years, New York Irish would organize parades on March 17, a different one for each neighborhood, church, and fraternal order. They would eventually come together in one parade in the 1850s, and New York has held a big St. Patrick’s Day parade ever since.”  read more

Or, most obvious to all of us these days, “what the day has become is a day to express Irish American identity.” Hey, THAT sounds right! And not to mention, another very fine excuse to get drunk– traditionally, mind you: Catholics with Jameson, and Protestants with Bushmill.”  Well, sez I, bein’ as I am 100% Irish on me mother’s side, whatever floats yer boat, eh…? Whatever yer ancestry, Happy St. Pattie’s Day to all; and hey, ferget the whiskey, ‘n’ come fer the wine!


Special Second Tasting: Two New Betz Wines

France-Bordeaux-mapThis past Sunday I drove down to Woodinville for the annual release of the Betz “Bordeaux blends.” As I have mentioned before, Bob Betz models each of his wines after his favorite French wine regions. Because Bordeaux is divided into Right Bank (east bank of the Gironde, predominantly merlot) and Left Bank wines (predominantly cabernet sauvignon), he makes one of each. “Clos de Betz” is his merlot-based wine, and “Pere de Famille” is his cab-based wine. As a special treat, we will be pouring the new “Clos de Betz” as part of a second tasting this weekend.   watch video


Back in September we picked up the Betz 2010 “Rhone blends.” One, Besoleil, predominantly grenache, is modeled after Chateauneuf-du-Pape; one (syrah-based la Serenne) modeled after the rich Southern Rhone style, and one (syrah-based Cotes Rousse) modeled after the brooding Northern Rhone style. So this weekend along with the new “Clos” we will also be pouring the 2010 Besoleil as part of our optional second tasting.

Come by and check it out!


Wine Club Update

img_2693 (Modified)Hmm. The way this blog thing works is that I like to have a picture to anchor each paragraph. Since we have a LOT of photos accumulated over the years, sometimes it is hard to remember what is going on, not to mention WHO is going on! This photo is from last May; the wine is a perfect color, and I LOVE the hats, especially the one on the left. It reminds me that a couple of years ago the Talls came in with a festive group (as they often do!) including a young man with a great hat, a lot like the one in this pic. I liked it so much I ordered one online that looked about right, and it was Oh, SO Wrong I sent it back. Sigh. In any case, this photo does a nice job illustrating the raison d’etre of our wine shop and our wine club…it’s about sharing and belonging!

Response so far to the wine club has been enthusiastic! Most of our regulars are joining or have joined, and I am hoping that before this weekend is over I can get all of our members’ personal pages updated with your purchases to date this year…wish me luck! And thanks for bearing with us during this time of turmoilic transitions. (if that’s not a word, it oughta be!)


Online Store Update
All I can say about this is: “Oh, man, what a Project! You can monitor our progress at the new online store website. Since last week I have activated some of the links, posted our own photos instead of the generic ones, added some new behind the scenes software (payment gateways for Paypal and your favorite credit/debit cards), and added a few actual products, including the Betz wines mentioned above (with more detailed notes below). So progress is slow, but sure. And while it continues to be challenging, I think we have rounded a corner of sorts, now feeling pretty confident that this is going to work…and that’s pretty exciting. Now…remind me again about why we are doing this…??!

Looking forward to seeing you!


This Week: TWO Tastings! 

#1: five good wines for $10  ($5 for members!)

La Font du Vent Rosé “Les Promesses”  ’11    France    88pts     $10
Very pure and showing nice drive, this delivers a range of plum, cherry and strawberry fruit. A lingering cherry pit edge provides contrast on the finish.

La Pepiere Muscadet Sur-Lie ’10     France    89pts      $13
Scented with green apple, lime, quarry dust, and a hint of elder flower. Low-key, soft to the touch for Muscadet, but highly refreshing; and tinged with citrus rind, crushed stone, and iodine, it finishes with mouth-watering persistence.

Pend d’Oreille Bistro Rouge 08       Washington        $14
Garnet black color. Aromas of black raspberries and plum chutney with a silky, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tangy green apple, nut, and peach skin accented finish. A fun, flavorful wine for the table.

Borsao Tres Picos Garnacha ’10   Spain   92pts     $15
Deep notes of roasted herbs, sweet black cherries and raspberries, peppers and spice soar from the glass of this dark ruby/purple-tinged wine. Full-bodied, rich, ripe, silky textured, pure and long


#2: two more outstanding wines for another $5

Betz Besoleil Columbia Valley ’10    Washington          $43
93pts (Tanzer):  (65% grenache, 18% mourvedre, 11% cinsault and 6% syrah):  Bright red.  Captivating nose offers strawberry, animal fur, garrigue, black and white pepper and flowers.  Wonderfully aromatic and smooth in the mouth, with excellent sappy lift to the raspberry and cherry flavors complicated by wild herbs and pepper.  Finishes structured and long, with suave, slowly building tannins.  Very Old World in style (and specifically southern French) but with distinctly Washington red fruit flavors. 

2010 Betz “Clos de Betz” Red Wine ’10    Washington       $50
94pts (Tanzer): 58% merlot, 35% cabernet sauvignon, 7% petit verdot): Bright, full red. Spicy high notes to the aromas of raspberry, graphite, sandalwood and cocoa powder. Juicy, perfumed and precise; not a fleshy style but elegant, vibrant and extremely young. Today the wine’s mid-palate flavors and texture are still a bit suppressed by the bottling, but this long, firm-edged wine has the structure and inherent material to be outstanding. In fact, I retasted the 2009 next to it, and while that wine was silkier and plusher, it is not likely to match the 2010 for complexity a few years down the road.

Wine Tasting

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